Michael R. Bromwich

Michael Bromwich

Michael R. Bromwich is the Founder and Managing Principal of The Bromwich Group. The firm offers independent monitoring, crisis management, strategic advisory, and law enforcement consulting services.

Over the course of a career that has spanned 40 years, Mr. Bromwich has tackled a variety of challenging assignments. He has been a federal prosecutor, a special prosecutor, the Department of Justice’s inspector general, the country’s top offshore drilling regulator, the compliance monitor of major public companies and public agencies, and a lawyer who has practiced with some of the most widely respected law firms in the country. He has been called on countless times – by public corporations, private companies, federal, state, and local governments, cabinet secretaries, and the President of the United States – to deal with issues and problems of the greatest private and public significance. He has successfully rebuilt, reformed and managed two major public agencies and assisted the executive teams of numerous companies and government agencies by diagnosing problems and recommending sound solutions. Since founding The Bromwich Group in 2012, he has served as the independent monitor of Apple and Walmart.

Most recently, Mr. Bromwich has undertaken major projects in evaluating law enforcement agencies and monitoring public companies.

  • In March 2021, he published The Metropolitan Police Department and the Use of Deadly Force: Four Case Studies, 2018-2019, which critically examined four incidents in which the actions of Washington, DC, police officers caused the deaths of young Black men.
  • In February 2016, he was hired by the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department to provide advice and assistance with respect to a broad range of issues involving police department policies, procedures, and training, among many others. He was centrally involved in the lengthy negotiations that led to the completion of a comprehensive police consent reform consent decree and served as a member of the team that selected the independent monitor.
  • In January 2016, he published The Durability of Police Reform: the Metropolitan Police Department and the Use of Force: 2008-2015, which analyzed whether DC’s police department had sustained the reforms implemented more than a decade earlier.
  • From 2013 to 2019, Mr. Bromwich served as the independent monitor of Walmart, reviewing the policies, training, internal investigations, and accountability systems related to the company’s ethics program in the United States. The monitoring included a wide range of activities, from interviewing members of the company’s top leadership to visiting individual stores throughout the country to determine the extent to which the company’s policies had been implemented and were understood by its personnel. Mr. Bromwich was repeatedly credited by the company’s top executives with helping the company significantly improve a program that covers more than 4,000 stores and 1.5 million employees.
  • From 2013 to 2015, after being selected by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Mr. Bromwich served as the antitrust compliance monitor for Apple Inc. following a judicial finding of antitrust liability in connection with the company’s entry into the market for ebooks. In connection with that assignment, Mr. Bromwich filed four semi-annual reports assessing Apple’s compliance with the provisions of an injunction issued by the Court. At the conclusion of the monitorship, the Court stated, “The Monitor has ably performed a significant public service in a difficult environment. Due to the Injunction and Monitorship, Apple has entirely revamped its antitrust compliance program.”
  • In 2013, Mr. Bromwich undertook a review of the Houston Police Department Crime Lab as its management was being transferred to the newly created Houston Forensic Science Center. The purpose of the review was to determine whether the Crime Lab had implemented the numerous recommendations made by Mr. Bromwich several years earlier following an exhaustive investigation into the quality of forensic science work performed by the Lab.

Immediately before founding The Bromwich Group in 2012, Mr. Bromwich spent eighteen months at the Department of the Interior. In June 2010, he was selected by President Obama to reform the regulation and oversight of offshore drilling and to serve as the country’s top offshore drilling regulator in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill. In a very brief period, Mr. Bromwich implemented a series of far-reaching regulatory and organizational reforms that revamped the nation’s regulation of offshore energy exploration, development, and production. He led the reorganization of a 1,700-person agency, strengthened agency ethics requirements, created an internal investigations and oversight capability, and recruited and selected top executives for the new agencies created by the reorganization. He testified before Congress on 15 occasions, and gave approximately 20 major speeches for audiences that included industry trade associations, major universities, and various other groups.

From 1999 to 2010, Mr. Bromwich was a litigation partner in the Washington, DC and New York offices of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, where he headed the firm’s Internal Investigations, Compliance and Monitoring practice group. Mr. Bromwich’s practice centered on conducting internal investigations for private companies and other organizations, providing monitoring and oversight services, and representing institutions and individuals in white-collar criminal and regulatory matters. Mr. Bromwich conducted major internal investigations for companies, both publicly traded and privately held, in the energy, pharmaceuticals, public accounting, and private security industries, among others; made recommendations for their improvement; and represented companies and individuals in state and federal criminal investigations.

  • In 2002, Mr. Bromwich was selected by the Department of Justice and the District of Columbia to serve as the Independent Monitor for the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), focusing on use of force, civil rights integrity, internal misconduct, and training issues. He served in that position until 2008, when he determined that MPD had achieved substantial compliance with the broad set of required reforms.
  • In 2005, Mr. Bromwich was selected by the City of Houston to undertake a comprehensive investigation of the Houston Police Department Crime Lab; the investigation was widely praised for identifying serious problems in some of the Crime Lab’s operations and providing recommendations for the Lab’s improvement. It led, several years later, to the creation of the Houston Forensic Science Center, the country’s only truly independent local crime laboratory.

From 1994 to 1999, Mr. Bromwich served as the Inspector General for the Department of Justice. As Inspector General, he headed the law enforcement agency principally responsible for conducting criminal and administrative investigations into allegations of corruption and misconduct involving the 120,000 employees of the Department of Justice. He was also responsible for conducting independent audits of the Department’s programs and operations.

As Inspector General, Mr. Bromwich was best known for conducting special investigations into allegations of misconduct, defective procedures and incompetence in the FBI Laboratory; the FBI’s conduct and activities regarding the espionage of the CIA’s Aldrich Ames; the handling of classified information by the FBI and the Department of Justice in the campaign finance investigation relating to the 1996 Presidential election; the alleged deception of a Congressional delegation by high-ranking officials of the Immigration and Naturalization Service; and the Justice Department’s role in the CIA crack cocaine controversy. During his tenure as Inspector General, Mr. Bromwich testified before Congressional committees on about 20 occasions. Over his five years as Inspector General, Mr. Bromwich took a new and virtually anonymous agency within the Department of Justice and shaped it into an internal investigations powerhouse, which it remains today.

Before his appointment as Inspector General, Mr. Bromwich served as a federal prosecutor. From 1987 to 1989, he served as Associate Counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel for Iran-Contra. From January through May 1989, he was one of three courtroom lawyers for the government in one of the most significant and highly-publicized criminal cases of the 1980s – United States v. Oliver L. North. Mr. Bromwich’s other responsibilities in that office included supervising a team of prosecutors and law enforcement agents that investigated allegations of criminal misconduct against government officials and private citizens in connection with provision of aid to the Contras in Nicaragua and serving as a liaison to the United States District Court with respect to the Iran-Contra grand jury.

From 1983 to 1987, Mr. Bromwich served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. During his tenure, he tried numerous cases and argued many appellate matters before the Second Circuit. Mr. Bromwich served as Deputy Chief and Chief of the Office’s Narcotics Unit.

From 1989 to 1993, Mr. Bromwich was a partner in the Washington, DC office of Mayer, Brown & Platt. Earlier, from 1980 to 1983, he was an associate in the Washington, DC office of Foley & Lardner.

The Bromwich Group is not a law firm and does not provide legal services. Mr. Bromwich provides legal services through the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson LLP in Washington DC and New York. At Steptoe, he serves as Senior Counsel, providing legal representation to companies and individuals, including conducting internal investigations.

He serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and serves as a non-resident Senior Adviser at the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC.

His pro bono work includes assisting The Innocence Project on various projects, and serving as a member of its Lawyers’ Committee. In 2019, in recognition of his contributions to the Innocence Project and the issues it champions, Mr. Bromwich was one of three honorees at its Celebration of Freedom and Justice in New York.

Mr. Bromwich has published articles in law reviews and other publications on conducting and managing complex investigations. He has made numerous appearances and given presentations in the U.S. and abroad on energy and regulatory issues, law enforcement, criminal law, and the importance of oversight. He has participated in a 2017 Harvard Law School panel on the role of special counsel in investigating high-level corruption, a nationally televised symposia on the Independent Counsel Act, and expert panels on the operation of the jury system in high-profile cases and the changing role of federal prosecutors. He has made appearances on a wide variety of nationally televised news and public affairs programs.

Mr. Bromwich has published articles on energy-related issues in Newsweek, CNN International, Houston Chronicle, and New Orleans Times-Picayune. He has published articles on law enforcement, criminal justice and oversight issues in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, and Legal Times.

Mr. Bromwich received his law degree from the Harvard Law School in 1980 and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government the same year. He received his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College in 1976. Mr. Bromwich is admitted to the District of Columbia Bar and New York Bar.

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